By J. G. A. Pocock
During this first quantity, The Enlightenments of Edward Gibbon, John Pocock follows Gibbon via his younger exile in Switzerland and his criticisms of the Encyclop?die and strains the expansion of his old pursuits right down to the belief of the Decline and Fall itself.
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Additional info for Barbarism and Religion, Vol. 1: The Enlightenments of Edward Gibbon, 1737-1764
The major studies by Giarrizzo, , and Baridon, , to which extensive reference will be made, are intellectual histories of the formation of Gibbon’s mind and work, not quite the same as biographies. ³ Low, pp. , . Cf. Craddock, EGLH, p. , where Gibbon’s aldermanic birth becomes Walpole’s explanation of his willingness to serve North’s government. For Gibbon’s view of Walpole, ‘that ingenious triﬂer’, see English Essays, pp. –. ⁴ For the questions of how far Hanoverian Britain may be termed an ancien re´gime, and whether the term itself is currently being used coherently, compare, contrast and reconcile J.
For Gibbon’s views on school life and learning, see Memoirs, pp. –, –, –, – (A, pp. –, –, –; all Memoir F). ⁴¹ Memoirs, p. (A, p. , Memoir B). ⁴² An Universal History from the Earliest Account of Time to the Present, compiled from Original Authors appeared in folio at London between and , in octavo between and . This became The Ancient Part when The Modern Part of an Universal History . . appeared in both folio and octavo between and .
England and Switzerland, – stitute the great personal discourse of the text and author of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, and oﬀer – once again – a series of contexts in which it can be interpreted. For the duration at least of this chapter, however, that which is being contextualised will be the biography of the author,² as Gibbon’s life moved towards the point at which composition of the Decline and Fall began. Edward Gibbon was born on April, – one-third of the way through the reign of George II of Great Britain and Hanover (–), and towards the end of the ministry of Sir Robert Walpole (–) – into a family then resident at Putney, with connections in both the City of London and the counties of Surrey and Hampshire.